WELLINGTON’S CentrePort reported an underlying net profit after tax of NZ$11.9m for the first half of the 2019 financial year.

The result is NZ$7.2m more than the corresponding period in FY18, and significantly in advance of budget, reflecting continued strong growth in trades and finalisation of earthquake-related insurance settlements.

The port’s operating revenue of NZ$41.3m was 21% up from the corresponding period in FY18.

The 22% increase in container volumes reflects the return to full service of the ship-to-shore cranes which were out of action for half the corresponding period in FY18 due to disruption caused by the Kaikoura earthquake.

Log volumes continued strong year-on-year growth, jumping by 36%. Petroleum volumes were healthy with 6% growth, while the current record cruise ship season saw a 58% increase in calls to CentrePort.

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CentrePort chairman Lachie Johnstone said the result reflected the hard work of staff and great support of importers and exporters throughout central New Zealand as the port positions itself for the future.

“CentrePort has moved through the recovery phase from the Kaikoura earthquake and is now shaping the future of the port. We are working with international experts, customers and other stakeholders to deliver a regeneration plan later this year,” he said.

“The strong operational and financial performance of the business as reflected in this result, provides the base from which we are forming strategies and implementation plans to take CentrePort forward.”

CentrePort CEO Derek Nind said the business continued to make good progress in growth of trades and improving operational performance while maintaining a continuous improvement in health and safety metrics.

“A busy six months has seen the continued expansion of the inland hub network including works underway to increase log throughput at Waingawa hub in the Wairarapa by 100,000 tonnes per annum,” he said.

“That will remove another 6000-plus truck movements off the road, which totals 24,000 truck movements saved by the Waingawa site alone.”

Mr Nind said other developments include resilience work on Kings Wharf and the removal of several redundant and/or damaged structures. He also noted that good progress had been made on the tree earthquake insurance claims.

“CentrePort has transitioned from earthquake recovery to long-term development,” Mr Nind said. “The business is operating strongly and growing, which has it well placed as we develop plans for the future.”

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